The Adventures of Henry Whiskers by Gigi Priebe

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I am always excited about the opportunity to read ARCs of middle grade books because my three girls are in the target demographic. Not only do we get quality time together every night, but they are able to provide valuable feedback for my book reviews.

The Adventures of Henry Whiskers is author Gigi Priebe’s first book. She transports the reader to England and introduces us to a young mouse named Henry Whiskers. Henry and his family live in Windsor Castle; specifically, they live in Queen Mary’s dollhouse, a grand edifice with functioning appliances and real books, etc. Henry is always very careful to avoid being detected by the museum staff, but when his little sister goes missing, Henry knows that he is the only one who can find her. Accompanied by his cousin Jeremy, the two mice set out on a grand adventure to rescue their beloved Isabel.

When I was in elementary school, I loved Beverly Cleary’s books about Ralph the mouse. My girls and I actually listened to Audible edition of the first Ralph book over the summer. Henry Whiskers is somewhat reminiscent of the Ralph books, but Priebe makes Henry wholly original. My girls loved reading Henry Whiskers, and they were always disappointed when it was time to stop for the evening.

One thing that really struck me about this book is Henry’s need to do the right thing. This goes beyond the obvious gesture of rescuing his younger sister in her time of need; Henry also goes out of his way to perform an act of kindness even though he is preoccupied with rescuing his sister. Furthermore, Henry feels compelled to return something that he has borrowed, even though doing so would place him in danger. Finally, Henry sees beyond superficial characteristics and reaches out to some unlikely allies.

I would absolutely recommend The Adventures of Henry Whiskers to children in elementary school. Younger children might also enjoy having this book read out loud, but the book is rather short as far as chapter books go, making it more accessible to children who are gaining confidence in their reading abilities and beginning to seek out longer books. We are all hoping for more Henry Whiskers books in the future!

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